The founder of the dog rescue organization that moved its headquarters into Michael Vick’s old house was charged Monday with animal cruelty, the Daily Press in Hampton Roads reported.
Surry County deputies served a search warrant at Dogs Deserve Better’s Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
According to court records, they were looking for Tasers and mace allegedly used on the rescued dogs.
Authorities said the search and investigation were prompted by allegations from former staff and volunteers working at the center on Moonlight Drive — the same house where Philadelphia Eagles quarterback lived when he bankrolled a dog-fighting operation.
Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Thayne was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one count of inadequate care of animals, also a misdemeanor, according to Surry County Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry.
She’s scheduled to appear Sept. 25 in Surry General District Court.
According to the search warrant, deputies were searching for all paperwork connected to dogs that have been housed on the property since the facility opened in June 2011, including veterinary records and receipts.
The search warrant alleged that “animals are being maced and tased on regular basis” and dogs are being cratedfor long periods, up to 19 hours a day. According to the warrant, injured and sick dogs are not getting proper veterinary care.
Terry declined to discuss what, if anything, was found in the search.
Authorities removed one dog from the kennel, but Terry refused to say why.
Terry said she began investigating July 20 after receiving mailed complaints, including pictures, from current and former employees and volunteers.
(Photo: Adrin Snider / Daily Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, bad newz, chained, charged, complaints, dog, dogs, dogs deserve better, employees, former, good newz, investigation, mace, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, organization, penned, pets, rehab center, rescue, search, surry county, tamira thayne, tasers, virginia, volunteers, warrant
The founder of Paws and Stripes — a nonprofit organization that provides disabled veterans with service dogs — says both he and his service dog, Sarge, were mistreated by United Airlines.
After waiting 48 hours in Dulles Airport due to cancellations and delays, Jim Stanek said he approached a ticket counter to get help understanding his revised itinerary.
He says he explained was having difficulty reading it.
“He said, ‘Just read it’ and I said, ‘Sir I can’t read it,’ and he said, ‘What are you retarded?’” Stanek recalled.
Wounded in battle, Stanek suffers from a brain injury that makes it difficult for him to concentrate under stress.
In addition to the insult, Stanek says, Sarge was kicked twice by United employees, leaving her “shaking like a leaf. It’s like she has PTSD.”
Stanek said the second, and harder kick came on a shuttle bus that was taking him from one terminal to another. An employee in a United uniform kicked the dog, he said.
“He said he was afraid of dogs,” Stanek said. “(He) kicked her so hard on the rib cage, that she literally jumped up into my lap.”
Stanek is encouraging others to register their concerns about how he and his dog were treated.
“I’m not asking for a red carpet, just treat me the way I’m supposed to be treated,” he said in a video he put together, recounting the incident.
Paws and Stripes works to provide service dogs for veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The dogs are obtained only from shelters, and are trained by professionals to become service dogs.
Here’s Stanek’s account of what happened:
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: airlines, animals, dog, dogs, founder, insulted, jim stanek, kicked, military, mistreated, paws and stripes, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, service dogs, shelter, united airlines, veterans
Jordan Biggs, 20, was booked into a Corvallis jail Friday, and later released — but without the dog she calls Bear.
Bear, or Chase, as he was previously known, is in the custody of animal control as officials look into the claims of the Portland man who says he’s the original owner and allegations that he treated the dog in an abusive manner.
Biggs has said she found the dog earlier this year in Portland and took him with her to Corvallis. She trained the dog to assist her when she has an asthma attack, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times
When she returned to Portland for a visit in May, the original owner spotted the dog and asked that Siberian husky mix be returned.
When she declined, Sam Hanson-Fleming, 30, filed a complaint with police.
Biggs, meanwhile, hired animal rights attorney Geordie Duckler, who has filed a civil suit alleging Hanson-Fleming was abusive to the dog and asking a judge to grant custody to his client. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s has opened an investigation into whether Hanson-Fleming was abusive toward the pet.
Duckler said the dog would remain at a humane society shelter in Corvallis while the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office investigates the allegations.
Hanson-Fleming told The Oregonian in Portland on Saturday that the allegations of animal abuse and neglect are false: “I’ve never hit Chase, I’ve never kicked him. The only thing I’ve done is swatted him with a rolled up newspaper,” he said.
Duckler said a private investigation through his office revealed Hanson-Fleming kicked, slapped, beat and urinated on Chase in order to show “who was in charge.”
The lawyer also said Hanson-Fleming regularly kept the dog in a cage that was too small, and that he regularly made the dog “inhale significant amounts of marijuana smoke in order to amuse himself and his friends.”
(Photo: Jordan and the dog she calls Bear; by Amanda Cowan / The Corvallis Gazette-Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, animals, arrest, asthma, attorney, bear, chase, corvallis, custody, dispute, district attorney, dog, dogs, found, geordie duckler, investigation, jail, jailed, jordan biggs, lost, mistreated, mix, multnomah county, neglected, oregon state university, ownership, pets, portland, private investigator, sam hanson-fleming, service dog, siberian husky, student, theft
This clip from the documentary “100,000” provides a glimpse into the life of street dogs in Puerto Rico who — sometimes sick, sometimes starving, nearly always unwanted — have become part of the urban landscape.
Like those who call Los Machos Beach home, these dogs in Guayama survive mostly by scavenging, and sometimes with a little help from humans, like Anibal.
Anibal Rosario, though he seems to have little himself — living in an abadoned home, with abandoned dogs, after being abandoned himself, he says, by his own parents — does what he can to see that the dogs get food and stay out of trouble.
He doesn”t view the spurned, mistreated and abused dogs as his own, just as a group that he ”manages.”
“People hit them also,” he says. “They throw rocks and bottles at them so the dogs get aggressive,” he says.
While some of his neighbors are critical of him, others see him as filling a need and taking responsibility for what noone else seems willing to.
“Anibal is someone that you really have to admire,” one neighbor says. “Believe me, he will look for at least a piece of meat for each one of them.”
(Our coverage of the documentary “100,000,” a probing look at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico, continues tomorrow)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abuse, anibal rosario, animal control, animals, documentary, dogs, food, guayama, los machos beach, mistreated, movie, neuter, overpopulation, pets, puerto rico, rescues, responsibility, scavenging, shelters, spay, starving, stray dogs, strays, street dogs
It took two years, but the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions says it has acquired and submitted enough signatures to bring an end to the annual flesh markets known as dog auctions.
The sales — similar to what you might see at an auction of livestock, or trafficked humans — are revolting affairs that seem out of kilter with the times.
“It’s a major distribution channel for puppy-mill breeding, and it’s a form of commerce that has not been good for the dogs or Ohio voters or taxpayers,” says Mary O’Connor-Shaver, leader of the coalition.
The group submitted 150,000 signatures last week to the secretary of state’s office. If at least 115,570 are proven legitimate, the General Assembly has four months to either pass a ban or pass a modified version approved by the coalition, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
The proposal would ban the auction of dogs in Ohio and the sale or trade of dogs acquired through an auction.
Violations would be misdemeanors, punishable by fines of as much as $250 and jail sentences of as long as 30 days.
O’Connor-Shaver said she expects to know by Jan.6 whether enough signatures have been certified.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the auctions are now held only in Holmes County and involve about 2,500 dogs and puppies a year, with most of the dogs sold destined for pet stores or lives as breeders.
Activists say many of the animals sold are sick, injured, and genetically-flawed. Cameras and cell phones are not permitted at the auctions. The video above was taken five years ago during an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.
(Photo: Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, auctions, ban, bid, bidding, breeders, buy, cameras, coalition, coalition to ban ohio dog auctions, consumers, defective, dog auctions, dogs, general assembly, hsus, humane society of the united states, legislature, mistreated, ohio, pet stores, petition, pets, puppy mills, sell, sick, signatures, slavery, undercover, video
I’ve never liked the open letter. It’s a cheap gimmick that allows the writer to pretend to be writing to someone when you’re really taking aim at them. It’s a feeble attempt to get the attention of someone who neither knows who you are, nor cares what you have to say. It lets you, the writer, ride on their celebrity while you make a point, ostensibly to them, but really to the world. Open letters are highly presumptuous, and a little rude.
Nevertheless, Dear Michael Vick …
I see an opportunity for you.
This pertains your former property at 1915 Moonlight Road in Surry County, Virginia — the one that’s now headed to serve a purpose far different than the one for which you used it.
As you may have read, or not, your former house, the headquarters of your former Bad Newz Kennels, the home you forfeited after your conviction for dogfighting, has been purchased by a group called Dogs Deserve Better.
They plan to turn it into a $2.5 million center to rehabilitate and rehome dogs that have been abused — tied, chained, penned, or forced to take part in dogfighting. (At this point, were this one of those catty open letters, I would have added “an activity with which you are familiar.” But this really is more sincere than catty.)
From a writer’s standpoint, not to mention a reader’s, it’s a pretty wondrous development in the long-running story that, as you know, just won’t go away.
You should get in on it. You should donate some money to the project — if not to assuage any guilt you might still be feeling, then for image reasons alone, and image, these days, is everything.
To build its $2.5 million center, Dogs Deserve Better needs, well, about $2.5 million. They’ve made the down payment, but there is still lots of work to be done and money to be raised.
That’s where you come in, or could if you wanted to — giving the story one more serendipitous twist.
I know you served your time. I know you paid (and are still paying) your debt. I know your fans, and maybe you, think that gives you a clean slate — but a slate is hard to truly get clean once it has been tainted with blood, be it that of humans or dogs.
You have a lot of haters, myself included. I’ve bashed you before and I’ll probably bash you again — it’s easy to do that from afar, while hiding behind the protective gear of a blog. Though I’m a forgiving sort generally, I’m one of those people who can’t forget what you did with dogs. I’m also one of those people who stopped being a Philadelphia Eagles fan when they hired you, and, in the few games I watched, rooted for you to get sacked, even painfully so. (I did not like that I was doing that.)
Animal lovers, despite all their warmhearted, do-gooding tenderness, can be a pretty vengeful lot, and you permanently alienated them.
Even the work you are doing with the Humane Society of the United States in its anti-dogfighting campaign isn’t enough to change their minds about you. They probably never will. But by kicking in some money to rehabilitate dogs, you might make them, at least, think twice.
It would make a far deeper and more lasting impression than your HSUS appearances. I commend you for those, but, in all honesty and no offense, you don’t come across as all that remorseful. You don’t excel at appearing sincere. Besides, it’s just talk, and talk is cheap.
I realize that, despite your huge NFL salary, your money these days isn’t exactly your money — that you don’t have much to throw around, what with your debts and your lawyers and your agents. My understanding is you’re pretty much living on an allowance, and that endorsements, which dried up after your conviction, are few. This could help with that, too.
News that Michael Vick had chipped in to build a center to rehabilitate animals on his former property — and I’d suggest you do it in a low key, non-trumpeting kind of way — would do wonders for your image.
Since you’re still getting your finances back in shape, I think it would be great if the Philadelphia Eagles, and the NFL, chipped in as well, perhaps doubling or tripling the amount you might be able to come up with.
I’m aware it was you who, willing or not, footed the bill for your former dogs to make miraculous recoveries and find themselves in loving homes. There are pieces of the whole story of you and dogfighting that, horrendous as it is, are also inspiring. You could add another inspiring element – you could quell, but likely not erase, the wrath of dog lovers who hate you. Animal welfare types can be a self-righteous bunch — and persistent as linebackers. You may never have them on your team.
But a donation would give them pause, and perhaps a modicum of respect for you. They might see it as a sign — to some it might seem the first one — that you are truly sorry. Money usually can’t buy forgiveness, but it can soften the sharp edges.
I won’t be so presumptuous as to suggest an amount, and, I’m not even sure Dogs Deserve Better would take your money. I am in no way affiliated with the organization, other than having written about it a time or two. But they seem to mean well.
Support from you, the Eagles and the NFL — on top of all it would do for your image, and football’s — would help the organization accomplish its mission: Establishing the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
Out with the bad, in with the good. Get it?
In closing, I apologize for the openness of this letter, and for sticking my nose in your business. But in a world where bad news is the norm, chances to make some good news – and to make some good happen — should be considered, if not jumped on immediately.
It’s just a thought.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adoption, animal welfare, animals, atonement, bad newz kennels, center, chained, dear michael vick, dogs, dogs deserve better, donate, football, fundraising, good newz rehab center, house, hsus, letter, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, open letter, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, rehabilitation, remorse, request, rescue, shelter, surry county, vick
It’s a done deal: Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit group that fights chaining, penning and other forms of cruelty to dogs, has closed on Michael Vick’s old house — the former headquarters of the quarterback’s dogfighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels.
Dogs Deserve Better plans to turn the property in Surry County, Virginia, into a center to rehabilitate and resocialize dogs that have been mistreated and abused, with the hope of finding them adoptive homes.
The name of the facility will be: The Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
The potential deal, which we told you about in February, became a reality in May, when Dogs Deserve Better raised enough money for the down payment and secured a bank loan to purchase the 4,600-square-foot white brick house and surrounding 15 acres.
The group paid $176,507 as the down payment for the house, liisted at $595,000, and is still raising money to pay for the rest and make improvements.
Once complete, it will be a $2.5 million facility, founder Tamira Thayne said told the Virginian-Pilot.
“Purchasing this property and in effect giving it back to the victims of the abuse that occurred here is a very powerful step for animal advocates and our country’s dogs alike,” said Thayne. “We are sending a message to those who want to abuse and fight dogs that a new day is dawning in America, a day where dogs are treated with the love and respect they deserve as companions to humans.”
The Washington Post had a report on the property’s transition from a place of nightmares to a place of hope earlier this month.
Dogs Deserve Better, which will move from its Pennsylvania base to Virginia, has never had a facility of its own, but it says it has rescued and rehomed more than 3,000 dogs during its existence.
Dogs Deserve Better says having the facililty in a house will help in socializing the dogs it takes in. The group hopes to rescue and rehabilitate 500 dogs a year.
Thayne said that, in addition to welcoming visitors, Dogs Deserve Better will also build a memorial on the property for the dogs who died and suffered there, according to Dogster.com.
For more information on the purchase, the plans and how you can donate, visit the website of Dogs Deserve Better.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopt, adoption, animals, bad newz kennels, bought, buys, center, chained, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, dogster, football, former, good newz rehab center, home, house, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, operation, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, property, purchase, rehab, rehabilitation, rescue, ring, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia
TJ was brought into BARCS by a citizen who found him being tortured by children who had tied string around his neck and were dragging him down the street. The witness, according to BARCS staff, stopped the abuse and brought the dog — subsequently named TJ — to BARCS.
TJ is a male whippet/terrier mix, about two years old. He weighed in at only 13 pounds.
You can see more of TJ, and the kind of comments his case has led to on the Facebook page of Helene Scharf, who is associated with Charlietotherescue.org, which helps find foster care for dogs in need, and helps transport them to new locations.
TJ, like Jellybelly, who we showed you last week will likely be taken in by a rescue organization.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused, animal cruelty, animal welfare, baltimore, baltimore animals rescue & care shelter, barcs, charlietotherescue.org, children, cruelty to animals, dragged, facebook, kids, mistreated, neglect, news, rescue, shelter, starved, tj, torture
My temporary cat Miley has found a new home. She’s on her way to Oklahoma, once her new trucker owner drops off a load in Bedford, Pa.
She’ll make the journey with her new human — a woman who calls herself “Gipsy Kitten,” and who regularly drives her routes with her other cat, a Persian named “Chuzzle.”
Kitty, for short, emailed me a couple of weeks ago. She’d scene the original video I did about Miley, back when I took her — though I thought she was a he — in off the streets.
Miley was living under the stairway of an empty south Baltimore rowhouse, and reportedly getting mistreated. I didn’t want a cat, but between that and the big snow that was on the way, we decided she’d come home with me until suitable accomodations could be found.
Three months later, Ace and I had bonded with her, but some upcoming life changes (I’ll fill you in on later) required a new home be found, which was the original goal anyway.
Out of the blue, Kitty wrote, and after exchanging emails for a week, we made a plan. She’d sign up for a load in the area. I’d meet her with Miley.
This morning, Ace, Miley and I drove to Frederick and gave Miley to her new human, who also had her two dogs — Havoc and Bonkers — aboard the truck.
Kitty — obviously an animal lover herself — said she was moved by Miley’s story and wanted the cat to keep her husband company. He was disabled in a farming accident and spends most of his time at home in Waynoka, Okla.
This morning’s exchange went smoothly. Miley, who is known to hiss and moan at strange dogs and anything else she doesn’t like, didn’t hiss a bit.
Kitty says, if everybody gets along, Miley will have the run of the truck cab on the ride home.
For Miley, it should be an excellent adventure. For me, it’s a little sad but we shan’t dwell on that. My video tribute (above) will suffice.
Ace, I think, senses the loss as well. The two were cohabitating nicely, though they weren’t exactly snugglebuddies. I think he’ll be glad that the bed will go back to holding just two species at night.
Kitty said she’d keep us posted as she makes her way back home, and I’ll be passing on what she has to report. Safe travels Kitty, and Miley, and Chuzzle, and Bonkers, and Havoc.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adopted, animal welfare, animals, bar cat, cat, foster, hauling, home, leon's, lighthouse, miley, mistreated, new home, ohmidog!, oklahoma, pets, reader, rescue, snow, south baltimore, temporary, truck, truck driver, trucker, truckin' cat, video, waynoka